When you make the decision to adopt a second, or third, or forth, etc., dog into your pack, it is important that you control the initial introduction.  You need to know your current dog’s personality and what triggers he or she may have that could lead to misbehaviors or even a fight.  Here is my story of how I introduced a new puppy into a pack of six dogs and two people.  I hope you enjoy and I appreciate all thoughts and comments you may want to add.

Pocket Boxer riding shotgun.

Yesterday my wife called me saying, “You know that boxer I’ve been keeping my eye on? We got it!”

 

I was thrilled that we were adding a fifth dog into our family.  My wife and I live in a 900 sqft. house with a small back yard and four dogs that are ours: Floyd, a German Wirehair; Audrey, a Golden Retriever; Thor, an Alaskan Malamute; and Tigger, a Boxer/ Lab mix.  We are also fostering two dogs: Tucker, a white Boxer (available through Sachi Animal Rescue Las Angeles, CA); and Stella, a Staffiture Bull Terrier. (We decided to keep Stella.)

 

All of those noses at once could easily overwhelm the 6-month-old boxer and too much excitement can lead to misbehavior and possibly a fight.  To avoid any unpleasantries we introduced the dogs one at a time.  Thor got to meet the puppy first because Thor is the oldest, 11 years of age, and the most casual with meeting new dogs.  The puppy, Milo, was very happy to meet Thor and Thor approved of Milo.  When we decided that Milo was ready for the next dog, we put Thor in the feeding shed so he could watch the show from behind the security gate.

 

The next to meet Milo was Audrey.  Audrey was very playful and bouncy with Milo and because of that excitement I acted as referee to manage the play.  When they slowed down, I put Audrey in the feeding shed with Thor so she could watch the show.

 

Floyd was the next to meet Milo.  She was playful and bouncy with Milo too.  When we decided to introduce the next dog, Floyd went into the feeding shed.  Tigger got to meet Milo next.  I know Tigger plays rough with dogs.  Because I know his playing style I knew that I needed to referee the play.  Tigger ran to meet Milo! Milo retreated a little bit but for the most part stood his ground (a wonderful reaction to this type of greeting).  Tigger wanted to play rough with Milo but I was there to make sure he didn’t play too rough.  Afterwards, Tigger went in the feeding shed too.

 

It was now Tucker’s turn to meet the smaller brindle Boxer.  This was a bouncy boxer meeting to remember.  Tucker and Milo bounced and boxed and ran all over the small backyard.  When they finally slowed down to pant, we put Tucker in the feeding shed with the others.

 

Finally, Stella got to meet Milo.  Stella’s body was a little tenser than the other dogs, which means she is on alert.  Stella greeted Milo appropriately; however, a little intervening was necessary.  When it seemed like the two dogs were comfortable with each other I opened the feeding shed and let the whole pack come together.  For the rest of the night we were monitoring all the dogs making sure every dog played nice with others.

 

The introduction was such a success that Milo instantly became a pack member and is learning the rules of the house from the other dogs.  It is entirely possible for all dogs to welcome a new member into their pack without conflict.  It simply takes a strong pack leader to show the way.

4 dogs resting in a pile.